Chinese authorities restrict what Tibetan children learn about the Dalai Lama


Authorities in northwest China’s Qinghai Province have stepped up efforts to vilify the Dalai Lama, now interviewing Tibetan children to find out what their parents told them about the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, sources say. In the region.

The new push expands efforts from 2017 to ban the display of photos of the Dalai Lama in private homes in Qinghai, historically part of the Amdo region in northeastern Tibet, a local source told Tibetan service of RFA.

“Under the pretext of assessing the livelihoods of Tibetans, Chinese authorities are carrying out random home inspections to verify photos of the Dalai Lama,” the RFA source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And the officials also make sure that parents don’t tell children living in their homes anything about the Dalai Lama.”

Visiting officials sometimes strike up conversations with children living in Tibetan homes, asking them what they know about the exiled leader, who is seen by Chinese leaders as a separatist seeking to separate Tibet from Beijing’s rule.

“They make sure that parents don’t teach their children anything about the Dalai Lama,” he said.

Authorities are also destroying family altars and shrines and warning them to remove Tibetan prayer flags hanging outside their doors, the source said.

A second source in Tibet told RFA that a campaign launched three years ago in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Golog (Chinese, Guoluo) in Qinghai now prohibits Tibetans from engaging in many traditional religious activities.

“For example, they are not allowed to hang Tibetan prayer flags outside their homes or build piles of stones carved with mantras, and they are not allowed to keep shrines in the houses provided with them. government support. “

“If someone violates these guidelines, they will be deprived of any benefit provided by the state,” he said.

A Tibetan living in exile confirmed details of China’s campaign, citing scenes he witnessed during his visit to Tibet in 2017.

“The Chinese government was conducting random inspections, calling for these elements of a program assessing the living standards of Tibetan residents to see if more state support was needed.”

“But in reality, they were checking to see if anyone was keeping pictures of the Dalai Lama and to make sure that no one was passing on information about him to young Tibetans,” he said.

China’s interference with the education Tibetan parents give their children can only have adverse effects, said Yangdon, a staff member of the mental health office of the Tibetan government-in-exile ministry of health. of Dharamsala, India-based Tibetan Headquarters.

“This constant harassment by the Chinese government in controlling what parents want to share with their children will have a very negative psychological impact on them,” Yangdon said.

“The Chinese government’s campaign places severe new constraints on the religion and language of Tibet and on displays of devotion to the Dalai Lama, just as they did during the [1966-1976] Cultural revolution, ”added Karma Tenzin, researcher at the Tibet Policy Institute based in Dharamsala.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet into exile in India amid a failed 1959 national uprising against the Chinese regime, which entered the former independent Himalayan country and forcibly annexed it in 1950.

Exhibitions by Tibetans of the Dalai Lama’s photo or public celebrations of his birthday are severely punished in Tibet and in the Tibetan regions of the western provinces of China.

Translated by Tenzin Dickyi. Written in English by Richard Finney.